The Northern Regional Environmental Health Officer Mr. Steve Adongo has commended communities in the Yendi Municipality of Northern Region, for embracing a programme on communities to become defecation free communities in the region.
He stated that in the northern region 52 communities are defecation free communities.
He said out of the 52 Yendi Municipality alone has 12 defecation free communities.
Mr. Adongo made the commendation during a five-day training workshop on Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) for 10 communities at Yendi in the Yendi Municipality of Northern Region.
He mentioned some of the defecation free communities in Yendi Municipality as Kamshegu, Limpua, Nalogba, bichiniya, Gmagmatido, and Nyenbolgani.
Mr. Adongo stated that Zabzugu/Tatale, Nanumba North, East Gonja, Kpandai, Tolon/Kumbungu, Savelugu/Naton, Gusheigu and Karaga districts also have some defaecation free communities with the efforts of Environmental Sanitation Unit Officers, Sanitation Volunteers and the communities.
He indicated that open defecation is a common practice in northern region and about 79 per cent of the people in the region practice open defecation.
He said it is one of the factors which contribute to most disease in the area.
Mr. Adongo said most of the sickness reported at the hospitals were due to poor sanitation.
He stated that they are also aware that MDGs on sanitation requires that they reduce people who don’t have access to sanitation by half by the year 2015.
He said it was important improve the rate at which they were going in order to meet the challenge of the MDGs.
Mr. Adongo noted that it was in that light that they were adopting community Led Total Sanitation approach to reduce members in communities practicing open defecation.
He indicated that CLTS approach empowered communities to organize their own approach to sanitation and take a collective decision to stop open defecation within their communities.
According to the Regional Environmental Health Officer, out of the five days, two days were used to train 17 facilitators with the rest of three days being spent in 10 communities to urge them to stop open defecation.
The Yendi Municipal Deputy Coordinating Director Mr. Jimah Yakubu used the occasion to remind the participants on the nationwide clean up exercise in connection with the 55th Independence Day Celebration and urged all to get involve to improve on sanitation in the country.
Mr. Jimah stated that most of the open defecation areas were close to sources of drinking water, which create a number of communicable diseases.
He indicated that could save much money if they kept their environments clean because people would not be sick.
He praised the Northern Region Environmental Health Unit for targeting a large number of communities which practiced open defecation. GNA